Katz Networks Relaunching Court TV
One of the most iconic brands in television history will return when Katz Networks, part of The E.W. Scripps Co., relaunches Court TV — a new network devoted to live, gavel-to-gavel coverage, in-depth legal reporting and expert analysis of the nation’s most important and compelling trials. It will debut May 1, 2019.
For more than 20 years, Court TV brought high-profile courtroom dramas, including the trials of O.J. Simpson, the Menendez brothers and Casey Anthony, into American living rooms. Continuing that legacy, the new Court TV network will launch in May 2019 and run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will be available for over-the-air, cable, satellite and over-the-top carriage.
In rebooting Court TV, Katz Networks announced:
- It has acquired Court TV’s intellectual property, including the trademark, website and complete, original 100,000-hour Court TV library from Turner Broadcasting.
- Original Court TV anchor Vinnie Politan will serve as lead anchor.
- Former Court TV and CNN producers John Alleva and Scott Tufts will join as vice presidents and managing editors.
- The new Court TV has secured over-the-air distribution agreements with major local TV station group owners including Tribune, Scripps and Univision. These agreements allow Court TV to reach more than 50% of U.S. television households at launch, with concurrent cable carriage of 25% of U.S. cable homes.
“Court TV was a top-20 cable network and at the height of its popularity when the network was taken off the air in 2008,” said Jonathan Katz, president and CEO of Katz Networks. “Today, while consumer interest in the real-life drama of true-crime programming is at an all-time high, there is no dedicated daily court coverage on television. We expect the new Court TV to fill that void on cable, satellite, over-the-air and over-the-top.”
Programming And Team
Like the original Court TV, the network will be devoted to around-the-clock coverage and analysis of the nation’s top trials. The acquisition of the Court TV assets includes footage of more than 1,000 trials, providing a wealth of content that will allow Court TV to enhance new courtroom coverage, revisit past trials and create original programming and specials.
Katz has made several key hires as it builds the network’s newsroom and studio in Atlanta:
- Emmy Award-winning legal journalist Vinnie Politan will serve as the network’s lead anchor. Politan was a popular face on the original Court TV, leading the network’s coverage of the nation’s most compelling trials. A lawyer and former prosecutor, Politan has been covering crime, trials and justice for more than 20 years, hosting legal and news programs on HLN, Sirius XM and, most recently, for WXIA Atlanta.
- John Alleva and Scott Tufts join as vice presidents and managing editors for Court TV. The two have a combined 40 years of experience producing trials for Court TV and CNN. Alleva was the lead producer for Court TV for more than 15 years and managed editorial content and field operations. Tufts spearheaded CNN’s coverage of the O.J. Simpson, Casey Anthony, Jodi Arias and George Zimmerman trials.
Katz already has agreements with station group owners for Court TV to reach more than 50% of U.S. television households at launch through over-the-air broadcast, with concurrent cable carriage reaching 25% of U.S. cable homes.
- Tribune Broadcasting will carry Court TV in 22 markets, including New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Philadelphia; Dallas-Fort Worth; Houston; Miami-Fort Lauderdale; Denver; St. Louis; Seattle-Tacoma, Washington; and Sacramento, Calif.
- Eight Scripps markets will carry Court TV, including Tampa, Fla.; Detroit; Cleveland; Cincinnati; Las Vegas; Tulsa, Okla.; Green Bay, Wis.; and Tucson, Ariz.
- Entravision Communications’ 10 Court TV markets include Boston; Orlando; and Wichita, Kan.
- Univision Communications will carry the network in San Antonio; Albuquerque, N.M.; and Bakersfield, Calif.
- Citadel Communications will air Court TV in Providence, R.I.
“Scripps and Katz look forward to reestablishing Court TV’s important legacy of providing Americans with transparency into the U.S. courts system and fulfilling our company mission of journalism and public service,” said Brian Lawlor, president of Local Media for Scripps. “We believe today’s TV audiences will be drawn to the network, leading to the same strong revenue growth and return on investment the other Katz networks have delivered.”